Stanley Clarke and his band of masterful musicians had an outstanding performance in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For saxophonist Greg Chambers, A New Day has been 2 years in the making. He and his wife, Chelsea, have added the joy of parenthood to their lives, welcoming their baby boy, Owen. Greg is experiencing “balancing life and work.” A New Day was partially written and inspired by Owen, and the title, itself, represents embracing something new. Greg co-wrote all 10 original songs on the project and collaborated alongside Matt Godina, Nate Harasim, Lew Laing and Paul Brown. Working with Paul Brown provided “a different approach” that served as an inviting addition to the music. Chambers “enjoys the writing process” and is always “excited when working with other people and seeing the music take shape.”
Listen to Greg and I discuss A New Day:
It’s been seven years since Michael Franks’ last album was released, and his fans are elated to receive “The Music In My Head” on June 8th. It is his 18th album to date in his 45 year career. Franks is known for his eloquent and poetic lyrics, clever song titles, and smooth charismatic delivery. Michael describes this project as “very true” and “very personal”– one in which you can hear and feel his “love for nature” as well as his everlasting love for his wife Claudia of 42 years. Once again, Franks has given us a plethora of musical gems while working in the studio with his musical comrades: Jimmy Haslip, David Spinozza, Gil Goldstein, Scott Petito, Charles Blenzig, Eric Marienthal, Gary Meek, Bob Mintzer, and Rachel Z. He feels especially blessed to have also collaborated with his dear friend Chuck Loeb on the song “As Long As We’re Both Together.” It would be one of the last recordings Loeb would work on. Franks’ collection of ten new songs embraces listeners and glides them through a journey of love, nature, science-fiction, old LA jazz clubs, and healing relationships.
Listen and enjoy my interview with Michael Franks:
Jazz pianist Ricardo Bacelar making his case for Brazilian music on the global stage with “Sebastiana”
His newly released third album revisiting Brazilian classics and introducing his own compositions is a multicultural celebration of Latin music.
FORTALEZA, BRAZIL (11 April 2018): As a lawyer, Ricardo Bacelar builds airtight cases to make winning arguments to the court in defense of copyrights. As a musician, the pianist-composer-arranger is just as meticulous when it comes to crafting his recordings, making convincing musical statements. To prepare a compelling case to present on his third album, “Sebastiana,” which dropped stateside on March 30 and throughout Europe earlier this month, he gathered a collective of musicians from all over the Latin-American diaspora and granted them the freedom to inject their unique cultural identities into the 15-track contemporary jazz set of freshly-arranged Brazilian standards and poignant piano prose penned by Bacelar.
Bacelar recorded in Miami where he reconnected with his long-ago flatmate Cesar Lemos (Ricky Martin, Paulina Rubio), who was drafted to produce “Sebastiana” as well as co-write a pair of new songs. Joining them was players from Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and the U.S. With Brazilian jazz and fusion serving as the stencil, distinctive Latin-American rhythms and instrumentation illustrate Bacelar’s own tunes as well as interpret works from illustrious Brazilian composers Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Flora Purim, Luiz Gonzaga, Lo Borges, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Milton Nascimento, Ronald Bastos, Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Victor Martins and Jose Roberto Bertrami.
The multi-genre album is receiving airplay from a variety of jazz radio formats and the disc has been lauded by reviewers for its artistic vision, authenticity and cultural significance. Thus far, Bacelar Productions has lensed videos for four songs. “Volta da Asa Branca” and “Oh Mana Deixa Eu Ir” – the later coolly crooned by Bacelar – are set in a natural amphitheater formed by a precipitously chiseled mountain range, desert foliage and vast skies with Bacelar’s grand piano precariously perched atop a rocky slab. “Toda Menina Baiana” finds the protagonist contemplating on a stroll by the opalescent Atlantic Ocean on the Brazilian coastline and in the recording studio tracking the cut live with several band members. The imaginatively animated “Nothing Will Be As It Was,” was the first single from the album and showcases a lonely lead vocal from Maye Osorio and Bacelar’s mood-shifting Moog synthesizer, adding texture to the unsettling cut. Two more videos are slated to be shot.
The Brazil-based Bacelar will be in Lisbon, Portugal later this month to perform four concert dates.
Below are excerpts from some of the album reviews:
“A dazzling set sure to blow your mind as it takes jazz someplace you just didn’t expect.” – Midwest Record
“This album is a feast for lovers of Brazilian music.” – Keys & Chords
“Bacelar now brings us his third album, and most ambitious yet, the beautiful, and stunningly creative ‘Sebastiana.’” – Exclusive Magazine
“It’s an album of distinct taste, class, and sophistication and does capture the colorful characters of both jazz and Brazilian exoticism.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
“Music that honours the roots of Brazilian music yet incorporates each individual player’s cultural and musical heritage.” – Soul and Jazz and Funk
“Ricardo Bacelar’s Sebastiana is a piece of cultural history, contemporary art, style guide, musical ethnology…an object of desire for aficionados of Brazilian Music.” – Smooth Jazz Daily
For more information and to view the videos, please visit http://ricardobacelar.com.br.
No Lie: Jazz/R&B keyboardist David Garfield hits the country charts
He wrote the heartbroken ballad “I Lied” with legend Smokey Robinson.
LOS ANGELES (5 April 2018): There is no telling where your career will take you when it spans five decades, but jazz/R&B keyboardist David Garfield never imagined that he’d hit the country charts let alone for a song that he wrote with Motown icon Smokey Robinson. “I Lied,” the power pop ballad that they penned, has reached No. 60 on the Music Row singles chart and gained New & Active status on the Billboard Indicator chart. The accompanying video for the track featuring vocalist J. Paris has been added to the playlist at the Heartland Network, “the beating pulse of country music for the nation” reaching over 22 million households.
“It’s amazing and we are thrilled to be receiving a lot of country airplay. Smokey and I wrote ‘I Lied’ with a female singer in mind. It was the second tune we wrote together, and it was just sitting in the archives. It hadn’t been recorded. When I began work on (my current project) ‘Outside the Box,’ I went to Nashville to track the song after hearing a country inflection in the singer’s voice when she demoed it for me here in LA. It was always an R&B/pop song, a product of my relationship with Smokey. He’s a poet, masterful with his lyrics. When we started writing it, it was like a contemporary pop (song) with a little R&B influence. Like all the other stuff we’ve been working on, very traditional and fresh at the same time, but nothing in the world of country,” said Garfield, a St. Louis native who has been long been anchored in Los Angeles. “These songs have stories, that’s the thing. ‘I Lied’ has such an amazing story to it.”
Robinson wrote the storied lyrics and sweeping melody lines for “I Lied.” “When I write, let me write something that’s going to just mean something for as long as there are people. If I can possibly do it, that’s what I want to do,” said the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy winner and member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
Garfield and Robinson first wrote together when composing “One Like You” for George Benson’s 2009 album, “Songs and Stories.” That same year, Garfield, who serves as Benson’s longtime music director, performed on Robinson’s “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” disc.
“I Lied” will also appear on Garfield’s “Vox Outside the Box,” part of his ambitious multivolume “Outside the Box” collection showcasing the prolific keyboardist’s collaborations with jazz, R&B, rock and pop luminaries. The first set, “Jazz Outside the Box,” dropped March 23 on Garfield’s Creatchy Records imprint and is his first straight-ahead jazz outing. The first two singles from “Jamming Outside the Box” – “Go Home” and “Jamming” – hit the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart with the former peaking at No. 2 and the latter currently climbing the Top 20. “Jamming Outside the Box” is slated for release this summer.
To watch Garfield and Robinson discuss “I Lied,” click https://bit.ly/2I3iZEi.
To view the “I Lied” video, click https://bit.ly/2BolVeF.
For more information, please visit www.DavidGarfield.com.
Justin Young is just in time for the November 17th release of his fourth album “Blue Soul,” fashioned and created by Justin’s desire to “get back to his roots.” Hailing from Detroit, Young automatically pulled his inspiration from the soulful music he grew up listening to. His approach to “Blue Soul” was to create music the good old-fashioned way. As a result of his determination, Justin, along with a cast of A-list musicians, recorded in the studio. His tenacious spirit paid off, and the momentum of “Blue Soul” has been non-stop; the pendulum is steadily swinging in his favor. Young told me he was “going to make sure this project flies.” To his credit, that, he did. His third single “High Definition” was recently released, and his first single “Always There,” written and produced by Jackiem Joyner, made the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown.
Listen to Justin and I converse about this project:
Choose the way you fly!
Music. Writing. Art. And whatever the hell else I want to talk about, damn it.
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